ST/Amiga Format Issue 3

Welcome to Issue 3 – Download

After the oddities of issue 2 we find ourselves in issue 3, named as September 1988 but like all games mags actually released the month before.

The previews section features an eclectic mix including future classics Speedball, Police Quest 1 and Operation Wolf. Further into the mag we find an interesting article on how developers create their games, focused primarily on the graphics, and finally we land at Screenplay. In this issue we have the following:
– Whirligig (Space exploration – Firebird – £19.95 – 84% Format Gold)
– Space Harrier (You know what it is – Elite – £19.99 – 83% Format Gold)
– Skychase (Wireframe flight sim when the ST can do solids – Imageworks – £19.99 – 78%)
– Arkanoid – Revenge Of Doh (Breakout clone – Imagine – £19.95 – 80%)
– World Tour Golf (Football game – EA – £24.95 – 78%)
– Mortville Manor (Whodunnit – Lankhor – £24.95 – 78% [Amiga])
– The Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars crap wireframe space blaster – Domark – £19.95 – 60%)
– Better Dead Than Alien (Shooter – Electra – £19.95 – 75%)

As you can see, it’s a piss-weak lineup compared to the previous month. Some of those scores are a little generous I suspect, with Whirligig looking bloody awful but featuring as their lead game on the demo disk (no I’d never suggest the two things were linked) and Space Harrier being a solid conversion given how the ST was being used at the time, with reasonably fast graphics and an audio sample that was super-low bitrate but still had plenty of character. It came with my ST when I got it and I had a good time with it, albeit there was little lasting value in it.

The world in 1988

Dear god the late 80s were terrible. We have one good song (Kim Wilde), couple of mediocre tracks (Kylie and Yazz) and some absolute dross. The album chart is little better, though credit where it’s due for Bad, while the movie chart features only 7 films. Is that because not much was in the cinema in those days? To be fair, the movie charts are the best of a bad bunch, with Beetlejuice being brilliant, and I enjoy Coming To America and Crocodile Dundee 2, though I can’t be sure what people were thinking when they voluntarily went to see Police Academy 5.

Back to the games
For this issue I’m going to have a look at Whirligig in part because I have no bloody idea what it is and I’d like to see if I’ve got what it takes to figure out these older games (to be fair, issue 2 suggested that I can get a reasonable handle on them which is reassuring – at my age I worry that I may be losing some grey matter).

(video is not mine)

What a terrible game

Dear god that looks shit. I’m doing this for you guys – suffering through some god-awful shite just to entertain you.

I will then have brief looks at Arkanoid and Better Dead Than Alien and report on those, though I don’t think I’ll be going into quite as much depth as others. Onwards and upwards.

Note: If there’s something you want me to cover let me know, or any ideas for expanding this thing and making it a bit more interesting.

Review: Better Dead Than Alien

Better Dead Than Alien Better dead than alien is a vertical shooter akin to centipede or space invaders. The marketing and title screen try to give off a B-movie vibe but that never really makes a difference to the game. I used a mouse although you can use a joystick or the keyboard. The mouse…More

Review: Arkanoid 2 – Revenge Of Doh

Arkanoid II – Revenge Of Doh So there is some kind of story, and it’s told in a slightly star wars fashion over some wibbly warbly chip-tune bollocks, but fundamentally it doesn’t matter. This is a breakout clone. A good one, but nevertheless a breakout clone. For what it is it’s solid – the graphics…More

Review: Whirligig

Whirligig (aka Space Cutter aka fucking kill me this game is fucking awful) Review I had a little look into Whirligig at and noted that the game was designed and programmed by Mike Singleton – a name I recognised instantly. He was responsible for Midwinter 1 and 2, two of the greatest 16 bit games ever…More

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